The Brighter Writer

MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2014

The Backyardigans

Ode To The Back Yard, by Krista Fuller 2014

Roses are red, veggies are green.

Your small army of assorted Elvis garden gnomes makes you ever serene.

~The End

When Jason and I bought this house, I knew the backyard had potential to be the botanical escape which I had been longing to feel. Our buried treasure hidden under 2 feet of snow refused to reveal what kind of magic we were working with, but I knew whatever it was would be fantastic.

(And it always will be if you go in with this sort of attitude, mind you.)

After the snow surrendered, we were left with a crispy blanket of dormant grass and a tree resembling Keith Richards.

And then one day...

From Keith Richards to Richard Simmons!

Half dead and snorting his father's cremated ashes suddenly transformed into glitter shorts and deep thigh lunges! Oh Huzzah! Any shyness was thrown out the proverbial window as he opened his trench coat to reveal all the strength and beauty hiding under his knickers!

Albeit, a trip to the groomer never hurt anybody.

Those little sucker plants at his trunk were rooted so deep, it took 3 days of chopping, cutting and axing to get down to the nitty gritty of things. We hijacked his winter coat and all of his modesty, but we got the job done.

("Well, hello there neighbors! Charmed, I'm sure!" *blush blush*)

Nowadays, our little tree is renting out his trunk to make a home to our personal fairy.

It has recently become clear to Kalynn that her teeth will soon begin to sporadically fall out, and she'll be rewarded in coins as soon as this happens.

Her logical 4-year-old brain has come to the conclusion that in order for the tooth fairy to not accidentally forget where she lives, she should probably just set up camp for the next year and wait patiently in the back yard. Just in case.

So we've made her a place to get comfy.

Our tooth fairy has stepping stones leading around back under the wooden arch to her own miniature picnic table where she can enjoy lemonade and tarts.

Continuing to the other side of the tree, she can cross the bridge as to not get her teeny slippers wet in the enchanted river.

And finally on the other side of her secret swimming hole, she has her very own raised garden bed, complete with itty bitty scare crow and planting tools.

Moving along, on the opposite side yard we had this turd of an eyesore. The space conceivably had the undeveloped promise of a budding future if given the right creativity and appreciation; it just needed to be tapped into.

The previous owners left us all this composite "better board" planking in a heap on the side of the house. My dad and my husband figured they would try the theory of resurrecting Sleeping Beauty with true love's kiss.

She's alive!

A good strong power wash, a couple strands of clear bulbs, a "borrowed" glass table from my boss at the bar, a few plants and decorations, and we have ourselves the perfect summer hang out spot!

I'm so in love with this space! Imagine a cold carafe of margaritas on a hot evening with Billie Holiday quietly playing in the background to the beat of the summer crickets...

It is quite possibly the most romantic place on earth.

And all it cost us was a box of deck screws from the local hardware store. Even better.

Looking out from our newly crafted deck was the other corner.

You guys, do you remember the scene in the movie Pet Sematary where Rachel tells a story about being traumatized by her sister Zelda whom they hid away in a back room because she was super sick and creepy looking and she ended up choking on her own tongue and dying? Yes well, if the pretty little fairy garden corner of our house is Rachel, this other sister corner would be Zelda.

There was a very sad and skinny willow tree surrounded with weeds being roped down to a metal pole presumably for strength, and a rectangular square of abandoned dirt where a swing set or play ground used to sit.

Now here is the issue: this was supposed to be my outside movie theater spot.

This is something I've dreamed of and wished upon a star for!

I needed this to heal and repair quickly!

Unfortunately, some new sod would do the trick but it was going to take a little time.

About 6 weeks ago we watered and waited, watered and waited, watered and waited.

Eventually, after unpacking its bags and making itself at home, it was like the sod had always been there. No ugly hemming stitches, no seams, no scars. The sister had been miraculously mended, her tongue reapplied, a makeover on TLC's What Not To Wear, and she was ready to come out of the Shame Room.

It was time to plan our first outside family movie night.

We had BBQ spare ribs, we had coleslaw, we had blankets, pillows, popcorn, microbrews...

And then we had this:

I was as sad as a Twinkie who had lost its package mate. I felt all alone in the world. My cinema dream had run off to join the circus and I was going to have to watch re-runs of Friends to keep myself entertained.

Ho hum...

But then! There was a loud boom of thunder and a giant gust of wind and we watched in awe as the storm passed right over our heads hurrying along like it was late for a party. With the new bright sky starting to make its way over, it was time to set up for our own!

Bring on the projector and the lawn chairs and the sleeping bags and the booze! It was time to watch Barbie: The Pearl Princess!

(Never mind our unfinished flagstone patio.)

With our treated willow tree full and happy, our green grass freshly mowed, and faith restored in miracles, it was time to start the show!

Kalynn had saved her allowance for weeks in order to purchase the matching mermaid dress that went along with the movie. Once she realized she could do her ballet routine and watch her own shadows whenever a song came on, the evening pretty much went down as the coolest night in the history of the world.

We stayed up for a second showing of Summer School after we put Kalynn to bed and I'm pretty sure I caught some of the neighbors sneaking peeks from their upstairs windows. I mean, who wouldn't? Mark Harmon is the coolest actor ever.

All in all, this has been one of the most productive summers our family has ever had. Between swimming lessons, summer camps, work, day trips, picnics, and renovating, it's a shock I still find time to drink as much as I do!

(just kidding) (?)

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